Huddersfield ended a losing streak of nine games, but it could have gone even better after referee Lee Mason changed his mind about awarding a penalty.
A predictable scrappy game between two relegation candidates took an unexpected turn after 77 minutes when Cardiff's Joe Bennett dragged Florent Hadergjonaj down and Mr. Mason pointed to the spot.
Bluebird's protests followed, and Mr. Mason consulted his assistant before he knocked down his decision-with Hadergjonaj Bennett had pushed when they chased the ball before they reached the penalty area.
Huddersfield was awarded a potentially crucial punishment and was only brought down to Cardiff late in the second half
The Belgian striker Steve Mounie went closest to the visitors with an addicted first half who had to be scratched away
David Wagner (L) and Neil Warnock (R) both fight to keep their teams in the Premier League this season
CONTEST FACTS, LIVE LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE
CARDIFF (4-2-3-1): Etheridge 6; Manga 6, Morrison 7, Bamba 6.5, Bennett 6; Gunnarsson 6.5, Arter 6; Hoilett 5.5, Camarasa 6 (Ralls 64 6), Mendez-Laing 8 (Healey 74 6); Paterson 5.5
SUBS NOT USED: Peltier, Josh Murphy, Smithies, Reid, Cunningham.
Bookings: Arter. Hoilett, Bennett
HUDDERSFIELD (4-1-4-1): Lossl 6.5; Hadergjonaj 6, Jorgensen 6.5, Schindler 6, Durm 6; Hogg 7; Kachunga 7, Puncheon 7, Pritchard 6 (Mbenza 72 6), Invoicing 6; Mounie 6 (Depoitre 87)
SUBS NOT USED: Smith, Kongolo, Hammer, Lowe, Stankovic.
REFEREE: Lee Mason 7
- League One
- League Two
- Scottish Premiership
- Scottish Div 1
- Scottish Div 2
- Scottish Div 3
- League 1
- Series a
- La Liga
The Cardiff Nathaniel Mendez-Laing winger had a busy game for the hosts. CLICK HERE to see more Sportsmail & # 39; s MATCH ZONE.
It was a rare drama in a game that otherwise had a shortage of quality. The only consolation of Cardiff for not defeating the opponents at the bottom of the table, moved the bottom three for Newcastle's game on Saturday night in Chelsea.
With Manchester City on, Huddersfield needed three points and Jason Puncheon signaled the early intent of his Terriers league debut with a shot that just slipped past Neil Etheridge's post.
Huddersfield occupied possession of the ball with Cardiff's threat coming in the break with two flying wingers Junior Hoilett and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing. When the latter became clear after 10 minutes, he was eliminated by Christopher Schindler, who was relieved that the card was yellow instead of red.
Cardiff had the first of four penalty claims when Hoilett and Florent Hadergjonaj got in trouble to reach a Mendez-Laing cross. It was worth screaming, but not clear – and neither is the other three.
Cardiff Nathaniel Mendez-Laing's winger was a rare light in a first half that never completely caught fire.
Jason Puncheon, on loan from Crystal Palace, made his Premier League debut for the Terriers
Huddersfield midfielder Alex Pritchard tries to make the match a bit livelier and get them moving
Huddersfield had scored only 13 goals in their previous 21 league games and their Achilles heel was shown when Steve Mounie reached the naming line and flashed into a decent cross without a teammate attacking the penalty area.
Mounie also gave Neil Etheridge his only action of the first half with an addictive effort tipped by the goalkeeper
Harry Arter of Cardiff collected his sixth booking of the season for a dropout on Steve Mounie when the pressure of a relegation win swelled.
Only two of Cardiff's starters charge fees that are admirable in one respect, but also helped to explain a lack of quality. Their chairman Mehmet Dalman says they will try to do three signing sessions in this window and "have a lot of cooking".
Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl is under pressure at full length to keep the ball from the corner of Cardiff
Cardiff middle ridge Sol Bamba can not make a good chance for the hosts up close
There is late drama when Lee Mason Huddersfield awards a penalty after a jumble between Florent Hadergjonaj and Joe Bennett
Huddersfield pushed forward in the second half, albeit without much conviction against firm defense.
Puncheon got a shot from the corner, Alex Pritchard unusually picked the wrong pass at the wrong time when Victor Camarasa was treated and Cardiff left ten men.
Mendez-Lang, who could not repeat his impressive first half after the break, made way for Rhys Healey, recently returned from a loan agreement with MK Dons.
Then came the big controversial moment. Jonathan Hogg spread the ball to Hadergjonaj and Bennett's interception header to goalkeeper Etheridge falls short and forces the Cardiff man to hunt and take down his opponent.
However, the decision is reversed after consultation with his assistant, as a result of which Huddersfield boss David Wagner has become perplexed
Bamba would appear to be an impressive presence at the back, while the Bluebirds provided what could prove to be a vital point
Warnock bids orders and instructions to his players during the game while his party secured a scoreless draw to keep 17th place
Referee Mason did not hesitate to point to the spot, but after protest from Cardiff's players he consulted his assistant who had seen a Huddersfield man attack on Bennett for the offense in the box.
After a discussion between the two officials, the punishment was annulled, leaving Terriers boss David Wagner with his arms stretched out of surprise and pain.
The late header of Laurent Depoitre was clutched by Etheridge and Wagner complained about the referees at the end of the 90 minutes, which both parties would not have liked.